Frequently asked Questions

Serving Greater Vancouver and Nearby Areas of British Columbia

Take a look at the questions below to learn more about your rights and how our legal system can protect you after an injury:

ICBC and Injury Claims

If I hire a lawyer, will it negatively impact my ICBC claim?

No.  It would be considered highly illegal and unethical for an adjuster to treat you differently, or minimize your benefits because you retain legal counsel.  Hiring a lawyer is not an aggressive action of intimidation, it is rather a move to level the playing field and help inform you of your rights after an accident.

How can an accident lawyer help me with ICBC?

Your local lawyer team can help maximize your claim and make sure your rights are protected during the claim process.  A skilled legal team can preserve crucial evidence after an accident and present the details of your case in a way that translates effectively into financial compensation.

More ICBC FAQs

Auto Accidents

If I am injured in a car crash in B.C., what can a lawyer do for me?

An experienced Langley personal injury lawyer will be able to gather important evidence and accident details and assemble them into a clear and concise argument for monetary recovery.  Your lawyer will quantify all the ways the accident has affected your life and seek compensation from ICBC and any other insurance companies involved.  Your lawyer is, most importantly, the guardian of your rights and a spokesperson for your interests.

What information do I need to provide my lawyer?

You will need to provide your lawyer with any and all details surrounding your car accident.

  • Names and phone numbers of witnesses, the careless driver, and any other vehicle owners or drivers involved
  • Date and time of the accident
  • Driving conditions
  • Location
  • Information regarding your medical treatment for your injuries.

Beyond these basics, there may be other contributing or environmental factors important in building your case. 

More Auto Accident FAQs

Pedestrian Accidents

If a pedestrian was hit while attempting to cross a dangerous road without the help of a crosswalk, can he still bring a claim?

Yes – even if you were struck while crossing the street without the help of signals, you may still have a valid claim. Your Vancouver personal injury lawyer will go over the laws that govern these types of accidents and inform you of your legal rights.

What should an injured pedestrian do if the driver’s ICBC adjuster offers a settlement?

The most important advice we can give you is: Do not consider settling your claim until your injuries have resolved and until you have consulted with a lawyer.

Many injured people are unsure what settlement amount should be offered, and are very tempted to take what’s offered, just to get some money right away. 

Stephens & Holman strongly urge you to consider whether the amount offered will be enough to pay your family back for everything they’ve gone through.  Will it erase the financial burden forced upon your family and take care of present and future treatment and expenses? 

Do not accept a settlement if you are unsure exactly what your entitlements might be. Let our B.C. accident lawyers help you maximize your claim. Remember that signing something could mean you’re waiving all rights. 

More Pedestrian Accident FAQs

Motorcycle Accidents

If I was hit while on a motorcycle, do I have special rights that are separate from those of automobile drivers and passengers?

The basic theory behind the rights is essentially the same.  Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable on the road and subject to special consideration.  Your B.C. lawyer will discuss any factors affecting your rights during your free consultation.

Why do motorcycle accident cases require specialized lawyer experience?

Handling a motorcycle claim can be quite different from handling car accident claims.  Accidents involving motorcyclists tend to involve more severe injuries and more fatalities. Negligent drivers may attempt to put the blame on the vulnerable motorcyclist or claim that he or she was riding recklessly. A Surrey lawyer with expertise in this area is best able to deliver the legal guidance you need to recover compensation from ICBC

More Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Truck Accidents

If a loved one was killed after a collision with a large truck, what rights does the surviving family have?

Surviving family members who will suffer financially from the loved one’s death may be entitled to collect not only immediate medical and death benefits, but loss of future earnings that the deceased would have provided.  An experienced Vancouver wrongful death lawyer can help you seek restitution for the wrong. 

Who can be targeted in a truck collision claim?

Obviously, the driver of the vehicle who exhibited negligence will be the primary defendant.  Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the trucking company who owns the vehicle may be targeted, as well as a third-party manufacturer of any defective parts that may have contributed to the accident.

More Truck Accident FAQs

Spinal Cord/Back Injury

Does paralysis always occur with a severe spinal cord injury?

Not always.  It depends on where the spine was injured, the amount of force used, and the extent of injury to the nerves along the spinal column.  When a victim experiences only lower body paralysis, this is called “paraplegia.”  When there’s paralysis of both upper and lower body, this is called “quadriplegia.”

How are spinal cord and back injuries treated?

Treatment for spinal cord and back injuries usually requires a combination of strategies.  Depending on the type of injury, accident victims may undergo:

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Special neurological therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Psychological therapy

Medications will usually be part of any treatment.  The accident lawyers at Stephens and Holman will make it their goal to get you a substantial settlement so your family can pay for all current and future treatments without worry.

More Spinal Cord Injury FAQs

Brain Injury

What areas of the brain are most vulnerable to injury?

Any area of brain tissue that is sharply hit against the inside of the skull is prone to injury and permanent damage.  The most commonly injured areas are:

  • The brain stem at the base of the brain -- associated with regulatory functions, attention and short-term memory
  • The frontal lobe – which controls emotion and personality
  • The temporal lobes – associated with memory and language

What are the signs of a brain injury?

Brain injury victims may exhibit any of an enormous variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Speech and language problems
  • Attention and concentration difficulties
  • Loss of memory
  • Disorientation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Emotional imbalance

More Brain Injury FAQs

Severe Burn Injury

What should I do immediately after a burn injury?

To minimize the pain, and if it’s a localized burn:

  • Run cool water over it – but not cold water or ice
  • Use cool compresses if they feel good
  • Keep it open to the air. That means don’t use any ointments or wrap it in bandages. You want the area to cool as quickly as possible.
  • Call a doctor immediately

What are the signs of a burn injury?

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Blisters
  • Whitened skin
  • Numbness to touch
  • Headache
  • Fever

More Burn Injury FAQs

Whiplash

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

  • Neck soreness or a burning sensation,
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Shoulder or back pain
  • Massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment

What treatments are used for whiplash?

Whiplash alone is not a permanent and debilitating injury.  It will usually heal on its own and just needs protection of the area and perhaps some pain medication.

If necessary whiplash may be treated with:

  • Heat
  • A soft neck collar
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Special exercises
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture

You may need to avoid twisting or turning your neck and your doctor will give you details on how to immobilize it for proper healing.  More serious neck and spine injuries will require more involved treatment measures.

More Whiplash FAQs

Severe Injury

What is involved in rehabilitation after an accident?

Rehabilitation is a process whereby patients with severe injuries gradually regain as much of their normal movement as possible, given the effects of the injury. It’s a matter of slow and steady progress.

Although some accident victims will have life long disabilities, they can be helped to reach their maximum recovery with the help of:

  • Specific physical movements
  • Relearning of language or other mental tasks
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational time where they can practice difficult movements

What treatments offer the best chance for recovery?

A team of specialists providing the medical opinions of several professionals, will be able to plan the best course of treatment.  Family members may also want to research the injury by reading current literature on new and experimental treatment methods.

More Severe Injury FAQs

Slip and Fall

If injured on another’s property, what steps should I take?

  1. First of all, make sure your medical needs are taken care of.  If you need immediate medical attention, ask someone on the scene to call an ambulance or call for help if no one is around.
  2. The next thing to think about is gathering information and preserving evidence:
    • The name of the property owner or manager
    • Names of witnesses or residents
    • Photos of the accident scene
      If you are unable to do this “detective work” yourself, ask someone to do it for you. 
  3. Your next step should be to contact a qualified Vancouver slip and fall lawyer.

When are conditions considered hazardous?

Hazardous conditions place visitors, guests or residents in harm’s way.  Property owners who allow hazardous conditions to exist on their property are potentially liable for any injury or accident arising from the hazardous condition. Once a hazardous condition is found, the owner or caretaker must eliminate it to avoid a potential accident and possible lawsuit. 

More Slip and Fall FAQs

Defective Product

How do I know if the product is actually defective?

Product defectiveness can be caused during its design phase, or during its manufacture.

  • If the product has a manufacturing defect, it will vary from other models purchased
  • If it has an inherent design defect, all products will contain that defect and will look physically identical

At our B.C. law firm, we use highly skilled product engineers to examine and report on the function and safety of products in question.  Make sure you save the product that caused you or a loved one harm and bring it to the lawyer during your free consultation.

Should I contact the product manufacturer with a complaint?

We recommend that you let an experienced North Vancouver defective product lawyer deal with the manufacturer.  As a consumer, you:

  • May not be able to reach the right person on the chain of command;
  • Will be offered a measly gesture such as product replacement only; or
  • Will be ignored.

A lawyer will use the proper channels to bring the resulting injury to the attention of the appropriate corporate personnel and let them know they may be facing a lawsuit. 

More Defective Products FAQs

Wrongful Death

If a loved one was killed by negligence, what rights does the surviving family have?

Spouses, children and dependents may be entitled to collect money for financial loss, as well as the costs of medical treatment, death and burial expenses.  In the wake of such a tragedy, an experienced Vancouver wrongful death lawyer can help you seek restitution for the wrong.  Although a substantial settlement can never make up for the loss of a loved one, it can help your family make ends meet.

How do I prove my loved one’s death could have been prevented?

This is where a skilled Surrey wrongful death lawyer is key.  Family members with hunches may never act on their suspicions, or may have no idea where to start. 

The lawyers at Stephens & Holman use:

  • Medical experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Accident reconstructionists

and other various experts to show exactly how negligence occurred, and how a life could have been saved had there been no negligence.

More Wrongful Death FAQs

The law firm you choose makes a difference. Call or email personal injury lawyers Stephens & Holman BEFORE you discuss your accident with an ICBC adjuster. You can meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation and pay us only after you collect!